India and Bangladesh on Monday decided to move forward expeditiously on a feasibility study for comprehensive free trade agreement to further strengthen economic ties between the two countries.
The issue was discussed during a meeting between the commerce secretaries of both the countries.
A commerce ministry statement said extensive discussions were held on various issues — including streamlining certificate of origin procedures, regional connectivity initiatives, anti-dumping duty on Jute products, harmonisation of standards, removal of port restrictions, and trade infrastructure-related matters.
“Both sides decided to expeditiously move forward on the feasibility study on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA),” it said.
CEPA is a kind of free trade agreement, under which two trading partners either eliminate or significantly reduce customs duties on the maximum number of goods traded between them. Besides, norms were also relaxed to promote services trade and promote investments.
Before initiating negotiations for such pacts, countries conduct a feasibility study to assess the potential benefits of inking such an agreement for both sides.
The Bangladesh delegation was led by Commerce Secretary Md Jafar Uddin and the Indian side was headed by Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan.
Source: Business Standard